Two Weeks Until the Closing Date for Submission of Proposals for the WCSA 2022 Conference

We would like to remind you all that there are just two weeks left for the submission of your proposals for our next Working-Class Studies Association Conference to be held in Corvallis, Oregon from June 20th to the 23rd, 2022. The closing date for submissions is December 15th 2021. Our conference this year focuses on Class Dynamics at Work. Themes and topics for proposals might include, but are not limited to:

• Laboring in the “Knowledge Factory,” or Class in Higher Education 

• Work and COVID-19

• Intersections of Class, Race, Ethnicity, Indigeneity, Gender, Sexuality, and/or Ability • Class and the Environment/Climate Change

• Class in Literature, Art, and Media 

• Capitalism and Empire 

• Global, Regional, and Migrant Working Classes 

• Populism, Nationalism, and/or Class “Culture Wars” 

• Poverty and Class Experiences 

• Urban/Rural Working-Class Life 

• Post and De-Industrialization 

• Class and Colonialism 

• Place, Belonging, and Class 

• The End of Wage Labor?  

• Working-Class Academic (panel dedicated to WCA issues

Our full Call for Papers can be found here. To submit a proposal fill in this proposal form and return it to

Announcement: Ireland’s “Working-Class Studies: An Interdisciplinary Conference,” Nov. 8 to Nov. 12

Dear WCSA Members and Fellow Travelers,

We’re happy to announce Ireland’s first academic conference dedicated to working-class studies to be held November 8-12, 2021. The Irish Working-Class Studies Conference will take place online and in Dublin at Liberty Hall, headquarters of Ireland’s largest union, SIPTU

The Irish Working-Class Studies Conference is being organized by a committee that includes two Irish working-class scholars who also sit on the Steering Committee of the Working-Class Studies Association, Emma Penney and Rosie O‘Halloran. Penney was elected in this capacity in 2020 and O’Halloran in 2021.

Recently, Penney was also a co-organizer for the WCSA’s first fully-online conference: WCSA 2021. Online conferences can be a challenge but if done well, they allow for participation across geographically distant members. We value and respect the work of Dublin-based artist and graphic designer, Aine O‘Hara, and the website they created that made the transnational conference an ephemeral home. 

At the upcoming Irish Working-Class Studies Conference, you may see some familiar faces! Some panels will include members of the Working-Class Studies Association. The Conference is free and we encourage you to register and participate in this important event.

See the Irish Working-Class Studies Conference “Schedule” and information on how to “Register.” 

Registrants will receive a Zoom-enabled program in their email shortly before the Conference begins. They will be able to “click in” to the Conference events that take place via Zoom.

In our tradition of solidarity, please come and share widely!

Job opportunity! CSU Dominguez Hills is hiring in Labor Studies.

Job opportunity! California State University, Dominguez Hills, in Southern California, is hiring a new tenure-track assistant professor in their Program of Labor Studies, starting Fall 2022.

From the ad: “We invite candidates from a range of disciplines, including history, geography, applied economics, sociology, public policy, and urban planning. We are interested in candidates who understand Labor Studies as an applied as well as scholarly field. Candidates should have an interest in establishing and building collaborative relationships with labor unions, workers centers, government agencies, and community organizations in various ways, such as serving as guest speakers and working together on internships, job placements, workforce development, public events, and research projects.”

“Our new colleague will be expected to teach our students to understand and apply theories of collective action, collective bargaining, and/or law as they intersect with race, class, gender, sexuality, national status, immigration, place, poverty, inequality, and policy in the context of a global political economy. They will have a commitment to teaching a diverse student population on a campus with cultural wealth and history. We recognize that Labor Studies includes inquiry into informal work, social reproduction, and care economies, and welcome scholars investigating new and emerging workplace technologies and modalities.”

The full job ad and application information can be found here:

Please share widely in support and solidarity!

Call for Papers Announcement: Special Issue of Teaching Sociology on First-Generation and Working-Class Persons

There is a new call for papers for a special issue of Teaching Sociology on the topic of Teaching Sociology by, for, and about First-Generation and Working-Class Persons. For those interested, here’s the link to the full call:

2022 WCSA Annual Conference Call for Papers is live! Save the date: Corvallis, Oregon, June 20-23, 2022

The local conference planning committee hosting the 2022 version of the Working-Class Studies Association’s annual conference is happy to announce that the conference call for papers has been finalized.

Call for Papers
Working-Class Studies Association Conference
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon, June 20-23, 2022

Class Dynamics at Work

The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the nature of work and what it means to be working class. Recognizing their power, the unemployed and furloughed are resisting the command to return to poverty-wage jobs. As Amazon workers fight to unionize, their billionaire boss shoots himself into space. Burnt out on Zoom and the inequities of remote learning, teachers wonder: When, if ever, will it be safe to return to in-person classes? And will the COVID crisis only further the erosion of public education? For those of us working in higher ed, the value of both a college education and our own labor feels ever more precarious. We question whether higher education remains a viable route for social mobility for students, faculty, and staff from working-class and first-generation backgrounds.

What, if anything, does the academy owe the working class? Can the working class ever truly find a home in the neoliberal university? Can Working-Class Studies?

The Working-Class Studies Association invites submissions for papers, panels, and creative works that consider the dynamics of class at work—and how class dynamics, for better and worse, influence what work means and becomes. For the first time ever, our conference has also “gone left”—as in, to the “left coast” or Pacific Northwest United States—and will be housed at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. We especially encourage scholars, activists, and artists from the region to submit proposals, to highlight how working-classness expresses itself out west: among other ways, through centering the relationship between labor, race, gender, immigration, indigeneity, environment, and land stewardship in our commitments.

Themes and topics for proposals might include, but are not limited to:

• Laboring in the “Knowledge Factory,” or Class in Higher Education
• Work and COVID-19
• Intersections of Class, Race, Ethnicity, Indigeneity, Gender, Sexuality, and/or Ability
• Class and the Environment/Climate Change
• Class in Literature, Art, and Media
• Capitalism and Empire
• Global, Regional, and Migrant Working Classes
• Populism, Nationalism, and/or Class “Culture Wars”
• Poverty and Class Experiences
• Urban/Rural Working-Class Life
• Post and De-Industrialization
• Class and Colonialism
• Place, Belonging, and Class
• The End of Wage Labor?
• Working-Class Academic (panel dedicated to WCA issues)

Submitting Your Proposal

• Please download, fill out, save, and return this PROPOSAL TEMPLATE to
• Proposal abstracts for papers, panels, creative works/exhibitions, and round tables should be no longer than 350 words.
• We highly encourage the submission of proposals for individual papers and presentations. If submitting a full panel proposal, however, please include contact information for each presenter and indicate technology needs, if any.
• Please include brief biographical information (2-3 sentences) for each presenter.
• In anticipation of the ongoing need to offer remote access due to COVID-19, we are also hoping to add one virtual or remote-track panel per session. If you’d prefer to present your work remotely, please indicate this.
• We are limiting presenters to participation on no more than two panels.

A pdf version of the full call and submission instructions can be viewed and downloaded here as well.

It’s Here!: June 2021 Issue of JWCS!

The June 2021 Issue of the Journal of Working-Class Studies has now been published. This issue can be found on our new hosting platform provided by the University of Wyoming, the new site for all archived and future issues of the journal!

Click here to read our current issue!

Of the move to our new platform, editors Sarah Attfield and Liz Giuffre explain:

“We would like to thank the Working-Class Studies Association past President, Scott Henkel for initiating this move, and the WCSA executive and others who have been part of the negotiations, and thank the wonderful librarians at the University of Wyoming for sharing their skills and facilitating the move. We remain committed to the open access and editorially independent nature of this Journal, and this new home will help us to maintain this commitment.”

The June 2021 issue showcases the variety of writing and scholarship within the field of working-class studies, including sociological, cultural, and artistic approaches. Articles explore contemporary issues for working-class communities, including the Green New Deal, care work and social welfare policy, working-class cultural production in a neoliberal and neo-colonial economic structure, and the treatment of class in undergraduate education. Personal essays and book reviews explore: experiences of aspiration; memories of carpentry work; deindustrialisation in Scotland; union organizing; a memoir of 1960s activism; autoethnographies of working-class women; and a novel centered around temporary workers.

Many thanks to Sarah, Liz, and book review editor Christie Launius for their work putting together this fantastic issue!

Announcing Newly Elected Leadership!

Congratulations and welcome to the newest members our of elected leadership and steering committee!

  • President-Elect: Michelle Corbin, Worcester State University
  • Treasurer: Marc DiPaolo, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
  • Steering Committee: Rosie O’Halloran, University of Cambridge
  • Steering Committee: Elwood David Watson, East Tennessee State University
  • Election Committee: Jack Metzgar, Roosevelt University in Chicago
  • Election Committee: Jason Tanenbaum, Oregon State University
  • Working Class Academics Section Chair-Elect: Emma Penney, University College Cork

WCSA2021 Plenary Today at 1:00pm EST! Matt Brim, “The Unfashionable Line of Poor Queer Studies”

Join us at from at 1:00pm EST for a talk by Dr. Matt Brim, Associate Professor of Queer Studies in the English Department at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. Brim is this year’s winner of the Jake Ryan and Charles Sackrey Award for books by writers of working-class origins or work that speaks to the issues of working-class academic experience. Of his book, Poor Queer Studies: Confronting Elitism in the University, this year’s judges remark in our awards press release:

The award judges write that this is “exactly the sort of work that the Ryan & Sackrey Award was intended to honor. One of the main insights of writing by working-class academics is that class is imbricated throughout our academic institutions; that there is no ‘escape,’ there is only erasure (mostly at elite institutions that can afford this).  […] This is a book full of insights and powerful personal anecdotes and one that makes an important argument: ‘Poor Queer Studies’ can ‘galvanize interclass [anti-racist] cross-institutional queer formations that do not rely on a unidirectional, aspirational model of progress’ (3). We can remake our institutions so that they serve all of us, and this is one great example of where to start.”

We look forward to today’s plenary and encourage our members to attend! To access the zoom link, be sure to register on our conference website.